INDIANAPOLIS – Two steps forward. One step back.
That's how the saying goes.
Applying it to the 2016 Indianapolis Colts and there's been far too many steps backward, and not enough going forward after one half of the season.
Sunday was another step in the wrong direction for the Colts.
"We didn't play well in any phases," Chuck Pagano said after his team's 30-14 loss to the Chiefs (5-2).
"Credit Kansas City. They beat us thoroughly."
Looking for their first winning steak of 2016, the Colts (3-5) entered Sunday knowing that they could not survive the same self-inflicted negatives that had plagued them for much of the season.
Kansas City prides itself on a disciplined brand of football.
The Colts were again at the other end of that spectrum on Sunday.
Dropped passes, very untimely penalties and turnovers led to the Colts not being within one-score in Sunday's fourth quarter for the first time all season.
Photos from the week 8 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
"It feels like we moved backwards this week," Andrew Luck said after his most inconsistent game of 2016. "It felt we were making progress but we stepped backward. And we are sick of it."
A pair of first-half turnovers from Luck gave the Chiefs the ball on Indy's half of the field. It was a field position struggle all afternoon for the Colts.
Luck came into Sunday off a very fine performance in Week Seven.
In 2016, Luck has protected the ball well. The turnover bug bit him twice on Sunday though and contributed to why the Colts trailed all afternoon.
T.Y. Hilton, who left the game with a hamstring injury but did return, could not find any rhythm with Luck. Hilton had just one catch in six targets (16.7 percent catch percentage), one of the worst catch percentages of his career.
Adding to the offensive struggles were just nine carries for Frank Gore (a season-low by four attempts) and the Chiefs dialing up six sacks (which tied the most ever against Luck).
Kansas City came into Indianapolis with only eight sacks through their first six games, but with the Colts playing from behind for the entire game, the visiting pass rush knew what was coming.
With the Colts trying to dig themselves out of another multi-score game late, the penalties appeared again.
Two fourth-quarter penalties on defense came on third downs and led to eventual field goals for the Chiefs.
Offensively, the Colts had a pair of holding penalties on Sunday, which cost them a total of 105 yards and took away a late touchdown to Donte Moncrief.
Missing their staring quarterback and running back for much of Sunday, the Chiefs still hit on six chunk plays of at least 21 yards (the Colts had none).
Kansas City piled up 422 yards and, most importantly, stayed away from the friendly fire.
Sunday for the Colts was an opportunity to show they could compete with one of the AFC's best, along with a chance to rewrite the early script of 2016.
Instead, the book read very similar to what we've seen through the first half of the season.
"The same things keep popping up," Pagano said after the Colts fell to 3-5 on the season. "We take steps forward and we play good football and then we commit the same errors from an execution standpoint that don't give ourselves a chance. Right when we start to think we are heading into the right direction, that happens.
"The same common themes keep on coming up, over, and over and over again and we've got to find a way to fix them."